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Help others improve and maintain their health and wellness!

If your desire is to help people lead better, healthier lives, a degree in public health can set you up for success in a number of careers. In fact, there’s a growing need for these professionals! From nursing homes to fitness training, with a degree in public health education, you’ll be ready to pursue a number of occupations in local health departments, hospitals, health agencies, and more. If your passion is to improve the health and wellness of those around you, a degree in public health - whether you choose to pursue your public health bachelor's degree or associate degree in public health - is the perfect tool to help you help others.

Anchor: Stats

By the numbers

16:1

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

$48,860

Average Salary

4%

Industry Growth

96%

Receive Financial Aid
Anchor: Programs & Requirements
Programs & Requirements

Programs & Requirements

* The credit hours listed on this page only reference the specific program requirements and is not reflective of the total hours necessary to receive your degree. Cumberlands requires all students obtain a minimum of 60 hours for an associate’s degree and a total of 120 hours for a bachelor’s degree. Transfer and prior learning credits may be counted toward those totals.

To learn more about our General Education Requirements, please visit the page referenced below or explore our Academic Catalog

General Education Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Public Health

Now is the perfect time to get into public health! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in this industry are growing faster than ever, and opportunities are plentiful. As you pursue your public health bachelor's degree, you’ll study with caring, experienced faculty members who will help you tailor a program of study unique to you and your interests - from community health to public health policy and much more. You’ll learn the skills you need to help others live healthier lives, including the use of technology and communication skills. Cumberlands also provides on-site internship opportunities to help you further your skills in your specific field of interest. 

Course Requirements

Note: If double majoring in Public Health and Exercise and Sport Science, only the core classes can be duplicated between the majors. Electives cannot overlap.

  • HESS 333 Nutrition
  • HESS 430 Substance Abuse
  • HLTH 130 Foundations of Health Science
  • HLTH 335 Introduction to the Study of Disease
  • HLTH 336 Epidemiology
  • HLTH 431 Public Health Administration
  • HLTH 432 Community and Environmental Health
  • HLTH 437 Secondary and Lifespan Health Education
  • SOWK 436 Human Diversity in a Global Society
  • BIOL 243 Introduction to Human Anatomy
  • BIOL 244 Human Physiology
  • HLTH 490 Strategies and Practices for Health Education Professionals

A Bachelor of Arts requires all the same courses as a Bachelor of Science with the addition of four classes (12 hours) in a foreign language.

Choose one foreign language sequence:

  • FREN 131        Elementary French I
  • FREN 132        Elementary French II
  • FREN 231        Intermediate French I
  • FREN 232        Intermediate French II
     
  • SPAN 131        Elementary Spanish I
  • SPAN 132        Elementary Spanish II
  • SPAN 231        Intermediate Spanish I
  • SPAN 232        Intermediate Spanish II

Associate of Science in Public Health

An associate degree in public health will allow you to learn much of the same knowledge and skills you would learn with a bachelor’s in public health degree, but in a more streamlined public health program that takes less time to complete. 

Course Requirements

  • HESS 333     Nutrition 
  • HESS 430     Substance Abuse 
  • HLTH 130     Foundations of Health Science 
  • HLTH 431     Public Health Administration 
  • HLTH 432     Community and Environmental Health 

Plus three (3) hours of upper level HLTH and/or HESS electives, or those approved by the Department Chair.

Minor in Public Health

Even a few classes about public health can boost your major and give you knowledge and skills that will benefit the rest of your life.

Course Requirements

  • HESS 233     Functional Human Anatomy and Physiology 
  • HESS 333     Nutrition 
  • HESS 430     Substance Abuse 
  • HLTH 130     Foundations of Health Science 
  • HLTH 335     Introduction to the Study of Disease 
  • HLTH 336     Epidemiology 
  • HLTH 431     Public Health Administration 
  • HLTH 432     Community and Environmental Health 
Anchor: Mission & Goals

Mission & Goals

The purpose of the public health degree program is to improve health (physical, mental, emotional, social, occupational, and spiritual) through education.

Build a strong academic foundation in health.
Learn a variety of skills that are essential to success in the public health field.
Become equipped to help others lead healthier lives.
Effectively educate others in health.
Prepare to jumpstart a career as a competent health specialist.
Anchor: Career Outcomes

Public Health Careers & Outcomes

All stats from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Health Education Specialist: $48,860

Health Education Specialist: $48,860

Work in healthcare facilities, nonprofits, public health departments, and more to create wellness programs, work one on one with patients, create materials for learning, and more.

Community Health Worker: $48,860

Community Health Worker: $48,860

Identify health-related issues, collect data, and discuss health concerns within the community.

Epidemiologist: $78,830

Epidemiologist: $78,830

Conduct research and investigate patterns and causes of disease and injury.

Nursing Home Administrator: $101,340

Nursing Home Administrator: $101,340

Manage all aspects of a nursing home facility, including admissions, building maintenance, and care of its residents.

Medical Records Specialist: $46,660

Medical Records Specialist: $46,660

Compile, process, and maintain patient files.

Dietician/Nutritionist: $61,650

Dietician/Nutritionist: $61,650

Work with patients to plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs that will help them lead their healthiest lives.

Anchor: FAQs

Common Questions

There are many options and opportunities within the field of public health! Whether you want to work in a hospital setting, train clients in fitness, or get your foot in the door of human services, public health is a great jumping-off point for a number of careers. It encompasses local health departments, education, health agencies, pharmaceuticals, and more. For more details see the list of career outcomes above! 

Yes! Even if you pursue a career outside of health or human services altogether, a public health degree can still be beneficial. The insights you’ll gain will help you prepare for any job that requires critical thinking and people skills as well as a professional demeanor – from business to customer service to office work. 

Some important skills for those who want to work in public health are compassion, solid written and verbal communication skills, the ability to work with others, organizational skills, a willingness to learn, a strong work ethic, analytical thought, and data assessment skills. 

A public health degree is for people who have an interest in health and wellness but may not want to work in a hospital or medical facility or perform specialized medical tasks like those of a licensed doctor. While a medical degree is more in-depth and specialized, a public health degree covers a wide range of topics and skills and is perfect for those who want to educate others in help, work with hospital data, be a fitness professional, do community work, and so on. 

Fortunately, yes! In fact, jobs for health educators are expected to grow 11 percent over the next several years. Additionally, job openings for Social and Human Service Assistants are projected to grow 17 percent by 2030. There is a growing need for these kinds of workers--you could be one of them! 

Anchor: Faculty

Faculty Experts in Public Health

Learn more about the professors you'll interact with in the public health program!

Julia Chaney

Julia Chaney

Adjunct Professor
Health, Exercise and Sport Science

Julia Chaney

Contact Information

julia.chaney [at] ucumberlands.edu
Dr. Elizabeth Christopher

Dr. Elizabeth Christopher

Associate Professor
Health, Exercise and Sport Science

Dr. Elizabeth Christopher

Contact Information

liz.christopher [at] ucumberlands.edu
Luecker Building, RM 213
Heather Killian

Heather Killian

Adjunct Professor
Health, Exercise and Sport Science

Heather Killian

Contact Information

heather.killian [at] ucumberlands.edu
Luecker Building

Request Information

Find out all there is to know about our public health degree program. Or any program, for that matter!

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